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Rating the Top Tier Corps

I think that NBN and Weyland are very close, and definitely the stronger two.

In my estimation, Weyland is much more assured at winning against weaker players (you will just WIN vs a good portion of the field), and NBN is probably superior in tough match-ups against the top opponents with the best decks.

I think Weyland’s supremacy in PIT wins makes sense under this view. This is compounded by many runners just not running three Plascrete.

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I think choosing which Corp is the “best” here is a far more meta- and opponent-dependent question (edit: than choosing the best Runner), and the various thoughts we have here already are a good indication of that.

So, rather than answer the question directly, I’d like to make a tangential observation instead. I think one of the reasons that Criminals are so dominant among the Runner factions is that the strong Criminal decks (regardless of whether or not they’re lead by Andromeda or Gabe) are in many ways well-positioned as a Swiss Army Knife that has ways to contest any of these strong Corp factions without leaving a significant vulnerability in their deck due to building around combating any one of the archetypes.

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I don’t think Shipment from SanSan favors Haas-Bioroid in particular, just because of Efficiency Committee (which you still have to score first, and it ain’t easy to FA a 4/2 after all).

It’s spectacular with Biotic Labor alone, anyway, given that with Engineering the Future you’ll just have to pay 4 credits (BL cost) to advance a 3/2. 1 credits gained from EtF spent advancing, 2 credits saved with SfSS. Much less risk being left with a broken economy.

This being said, I think the card is similarly very strong in NBN as well, especially considering the weaker economy of this News Corp. Saving 2 credits in NBN is much more important than saving 2 credits in Haas-Bioroid. Besides, once you have a SanSan City Grid rezzed, you’ll be advancing 3/2 Agenda for free.

I wasn’t a big fan of this card when I saw it first, but thinking about it made me change my mind entirely… it’s probably the biggest help to Fast Advance since Project Beale/Project Vitruvius.

In my opinion, Weyland Consortium is currently the badass number one.
At least if we consider the results at the Plugged-in Tour.

Why Weyland Consortium?

I think it’s due to a number of factors: first of all, it possesses the strongest economy (Corp side, of course); secondly, it also has a very strong alternative winning condition in Scorched Earth’s Meat Damage. Third, it has some of the strongest ICE in the game (namely: Archer, Hadrian’s Wall and now Swarm… but yes, it also has the worst ICE of all times: Salvage). Fourth: it might have slower Agenda than most, but they all have reliable and quite useful effects.
Lastly, Project Atlas is the only real tutor this game has for Corps (Levy and Aggressive Negotiation are terrible).

I won more than a game fetching a Hostile Takeover for the winning point using a token of Project Atlas, or using said token to fetch a Scorched Earth / SEA Source / Midseason Replacements.

NBN is a close second when it comes to power level simply because of two factors: it has the best Fast Advance weapon ever (AstroScript Pilot Program) and it can also achieve flatline victories quite easily thanks to the tagging cards it has in-faction. It’s just harder to manage economically and has way less reliable ICE, when compared to Weyland Consortium, but it’s still number 2 even in Plugged-in Tour results, irc.

I consider Weyland the strongest at getting match wins, but when it fails it tend to score fever agenda points than NBN.

People that look at Shipment from SanSan as saving two credits are missing the most important strength of the card. That’s not what makes the card strong, just like Freelancer saving you money isn’t what makes that card strong either.

There are key moments in every game where you simply don’t have enough clicks to do everything you need to do before it’s the other player’s turn again. If I have a 3/2 agenda installed to be scored next turn and 5 credits and you hit a Snare in my R&D, then I used to have a really tough decision, and even taking 3-4 seconds to make the decision could tell your opponent that the card you have installed in the remote server is an agenda. Even if I had a card in my hand that cost 0 and said “Gain 100 credits”, that agenda isn’t going to be scored this turn since I need all 3 clicks to advance it.

Shipment from SanSan’s best value is that it generates the credits for the advancements during the same clicks you use to advance the card in the first place. The saving two credits when you could have done the advancements the “normal” way is more of a concessionary benefit you can take from the card when you’re not in a situation where it’s more powerful benefit applies (namely, you’re not in a risk of going broke during that particular game) so it’s not a dead card in those situations. Incidentally, this is great - FFG needs to print more Corp like this, because deck space is at such a premium that it’s hard for the Corp to have situational cards in its deck without them having some sort of concessionary benefit like this.

Interesting observations. I personally believe that NBN is more well-rounded than Weyland, but it is more difficult to play and doesn’t crush intermediate opponents as easily. Where it shines is in the hands of a talented player against an intelligent opponent.

I have a question for @Alexfrog and @SneakySly, if y’'all don’t mind. What are your thoughts of TWIY as compared to MN? On the one hand, as Alexfrog stated in his write-up Making News makes Draco and to a lesser extent Caduceus playable. On the other, TWIY offers consistency which is desirable especially in rush decks. Mine is 40 cards and has only 15 ice (still higher ice density than y’alls decks with 17) and runs 2 Celebrity Gift for econ. I’d hate to switch to MN just because of two ice, but they really do extremely well as early-game deterrents that cost next to nothing to use.

I think as the ice pool grows, TWIY will pull ahead for rush decks and MN will be more well-suited for hybrid or flytrap builds. Profiteering already looks very promising for TWIY but clashes with the trace mechanics of MN. Needless to say, Corporate Reshuffle will be a massive boon to both.

I have repeatedly tried TWIY and I consistently do much worse with it.

It apparently works for other people, but I find I lose too much when I lose those Caduceus, as well as things like being able to use Draco as a cheap ice, boost Bernice Mai, etc.

What you said is true, but it’s a fringe benefit.
I mean, if you saved money earlier during the game (maybe thanks to Shipment from SanSan), you’re less likely to end up in situations like the one you described. If you had 7 credits, having saved 2 with SfSS previously, and the Runner did find a Snare! but you had a 3/2 installed and wanted to score it the next turn… well the question “shall I pay for the Snare! or not?” wouldn’t even arise.

Sure, it’s a card you can also use in a pinch, but I’d rather take (and use) it as a card that helps you avoid ending up like that. Money saved is money you can use later on.

In other news, it seems like Jinteki managed to win something at the Plugged-in Tour after all, but the decklist in the FFG article can’t be right… instead than 3 Hadrian’s Wall he probably had 3 Ice Wall. They also forgot to write the Identity, but I guess it was Personal Evolution, judging by the deck itself.

I like TWIY* a lot in theory. A greater proportion of my agendas are Astroscripts? Sign me up! That said, I have yet to find a build that works anywhere near as consistently for me as Making News does.

I’d be interested in hearing more about your experience with Celebrity Gift in TWIY*. To me it seems extremely dangerous to play-- I often win or lose matches as NBN based on uncertainty as to what I have in my hand.

Celebrity Gift requires a bit of timing, but is well worth using. With a six card hand and three jacksons, I can easily show 5 out of 8 cards, or simply manipulate my hand into archives/r&d until I’m okay showing what I have.

The bigger issue I’ve had in TWIY is ice distribution. I have no trouble drawing a couple ice early, but if one is Grim or Chaemera I can’t sufficiently protect centrals for a couple turns. The upcoming ice will help, and Wraparound will free up influence being spent on ice wall.

I kind of think NBN is the strongest faction by a moderate margin at the most competitive level of play – either TWIY or MN. I prefer TWIY because they have better agenda comp, higher astro density, and higher sansan density. That means you’re comboing out more reliably. Being able to leverage a good draw into a “dumb” win is important against strong runners. HB:ETF with a deck like Running_Bear’s is second on my list.

I feel like, for tournament play, Weyland is the best faction for increasing your chances of making it to single elimination. However, once you’re in single elimination, NBN and HB are going to win more games and have an easier time winning the tiebreaker. Weyland gobbles up points in Swiss because scorched + money is great at punishing bad players. However, Weyland begins falling apart once you’re up against a good criminal player. I’ve been playing Weyland lists from Plugged-in events lately. I win about 90% of my games against the field, but that goes down to about 25% against a runner on the calibre of Jopejope or AlexFrog. Compare to about 80%/45% for NBN.

I haven’t touched Jinteki in a long while. Katman destroys all the decent Jinteki decks I’ve seen. I don’t think Katman is a particularly strong deck, but it is popular. And it sucks when you flat-out lose to 1/3 of the field.

Weyland would be way more competitive at top levels if it were better at setting up catch-22’s, rather than just punishing bad plays. I like Jinteki:PE because they can set up catch-22’s (work compression, blah blah). Maybe the next cycle of cards will address that.

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Funny, this is precisely what I’ve observed as well. NBN will have a bad game an additional 5% of the time over Weyland, but the level of interactivity with the runner allows for significant advantages at higher level of play. For now, I still think MN trumps TWIY, but the moment alternatives to Caduceus and Draco arise, I think that will change. The better density of everything you need is too good to ignore.

I agree in regards to PE as well. They just need a couple more tools to be considered competitive, and I foresee that coming rather soon. Still, I’ve been having far too much fun with the more offensive NBN to want to give it up just yet.

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Do you think Swordsman will resolve this issue?

Agreed, though I think Punitive Counterstrike will help with this issue-- as will Posted Bounty, which most current Weyland decks have cut. I’m currently testing a Weyland deck that tries to create more bad situations for the runner and have had mixed success. If I get the archetype refined more, though, I’ll probably post it up here.

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NBN & Weyland definitely with HB close behind. Saw some mean Jinteki decks that people were testing over the weekend & they’re getting kind of scary too.

Personally I felt Weyland was strong against Criminal, & weaker against Kate…while it was the reverse for NBN.

Given that katman is running femme and/or parasite AND has program recursion for the worst-case situation… No.

First time posting here, I recently top 8’ed worlds, losing out to Anthony (my kingdom for a breaker…), and my roommate went on to win.
Right now, I feel that the strongest archetype for competitive play is fast advance due to how tournament scoring works. With tie breaks coming down to scored agendas, the ability to fast advance out points can be more important than winning the game.
There is too much ability to play around tag n bag in the current metagame so the Weyland scorched earth plan revolves around your opponent making play mistakes which you can’t rely on at a higher level. With the popularity of 4/2 5/3 agendas in Weyland, they are too slow to be able to reliably apply pressure on the runner to force the play mistakes, so a skilled runner can simply take their time and win. When I saw my roommate get paired against Weyland in top 4, I simply walked away to watch the other match knowing it amounted to a bye for him.
I can tell you without a doubt there was not a single Jinteki deck in the top 16. The board states and mindgames they can set up can be powerful, but they are not reliable which is key in succeeding.
With the current card pool, NBN and HB are the better fast advance decks, placing them ahead of the rest of the corps for high level play. With the way the match scoring currently works, so long as there is an imbalance favoring the runner the fast advance game plans will be favored for post-Swiss tournament play (aka, top 16).

I have similar thoughts to @hollis – Weyland is better against a large field that includes a bunch of random folks, simply because it is better at punishing mistakes. NBN and HBFA are currently better against runners that make few to no mistakes, simply because their gameplan is “get good cards, score agendas, repeat”. Even with these decks though we are still hoping to catch a variance break :). NBN feels a little looser and flapping in the wind against criminals, whereas HBFA is weak against well-piloted Anarch/Shaper builds.

Jinteki is, as ever, Sir-Not-Appearing-In-This-Film. I prepared for Jinteki/Katman for worlds, but faced no Katman and only one completely hapless Jinteki deck.

That said since worlds I have begun testing a series of what I call “come at me, bro” decks designed around attempting to aggressively punish runners who take their most powerful action–running. We’ll see how they work.

@RepentHarlequin – congratulations on your finish! I completely agree that one wanted an FA-style deck in the elim rounds. I think the general level of play at worlds was high enough that Weyland wasn’t appreciably better than either in the Swiss.

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lol “come at me bro”

sounds amazing already

I’ve recently noticed that Successful Demonstration is very effective at responding to early runs. Ironically, the only problem I’ve found is that it doesn’t do much of anything against bad players!